“Points mean prizes.”
Hey folks, Dre here again. (That’s seriously becoming my catchphrase on here isn’t it?), and while we start the countdown for the 2015 Formula 1 Season, something came up a couple of days ago that got a lot of people talking, and that was an FIA announcement that revealed planned changes to the way that the FIA are going to be handing out super-licenses, which allow drivers to take part in Formula 1, from 2016.
While the FIA would never straight up admit it, I suspect that this is a respect to what me and Motorsport 101 co-host Ryan King would call “The Verstappen Law”, as with Max Verstappen debuting in Formula 1 next year at the tender age of 17, I suspect this new system is a response to make sure this kind of decision never happens again. Can’t say I blame them to be honest, the idea of a 17 year old in F1 just doesn’t sit right with me. But that’s a whole different debate for a separate blog.
So, we already knew that you now have to be over the age of 18 to be eligible, and in addition, you now have to have done a minimum of two years in any form of single-seat open wheel racing too. In addition, you have to have earned 40 “points” over a 3 year period in order to qualify for a license. So, how are these points distributed? See here, thanks to Autosport:
Finished staring at it? I know, it’s a lot to take in, and a lot of people have already had their say on it, so let me break it down via some bite-sized chunks that ought to help, addressing key points that I think are worth noting, as well as addressing some large scale complaints that I’ve seen others make.
“Future FIA Formula 2 Championship?” – This is probably the biggest problem with this new system. At this point in time, we have no idea about the structure, rules, format, or…well just about anything regarding the FIA’s new official feeder series. Well, besides its very mediocre sounding name.
And obviously, its extremely important given that it carries a maximum 60 points and for many drivers coming into a new system like that, it would be an automatic super-license earner just for making the Top 3. And I think a lot of whether this structure works or not will come down to how F2 works. Not exactly what you call “organized” for now at least.
For me personally, if it can be a series where test drivers like a Jean-Eric Vergne or former drivers like a Buemi, or an Alguersuari can sharpen their teeth and stay in or around the scene, then I think a series like this has a lot of potential. A entire league of younger drivers causes extra problems, including thinning out their own other series.
“Indycar’s only worth 40?” – This is my other gripe with the scoring system. IndyCar’s can hit 245mph, and in terms of quality is clearly the closest thing we have to Formula 1 itself at the moment, so why the heck is it only worth 40? It wasn’t that long ago that Nigel Mansell was doing double duty in that league, or Juan Pablo Montoya making the jump. For me, IndyCar should be right at the top of the list and worth 60, instead of only the Championship winner earning enough to get in straight away.
“Where’s Formula E?” – Got to remember, Formula E isn’t even recognized as an official World Championship yet, and I’m not sure it should given points given the fact it’s still an up and coming new Formula. Especially when the league itself has 14 drivers who have already taken part in Formula 1 at some point. For now, a good move. Let the league establish itself first, then give it the credit it deserves. And yes, I know it feels weird saying this when the top scoring league doesn’t exist yet, but I don’t think F2 should be there yet either, so meh.